plant associations

snowdrop-and-hellebore
Plant association for February, Dark hellebore with snowdrops.

I should have posted this yesterday and filled the blog today with St David’s Day daffodils, but it was never going to happen and daffodils will be featuring very soon, so  back to hellebores and other early spring planting..

I wish I could claim the credit for thinking of this plant association, but I can’t.  I read about it in my favourite Christmas present book, The Layered Garden by David L Culp, and it is my garden’s best  plant association for February.

David  is a plant collector and a plant breeder, specialising in hellebores. I partly blame him for my new-found love of them. He grows them in woodland shade and in association with other woodland plants that bloom at the same time in his Pennsylvania garden.  When I read about associating dark hellebores with snowdrops I thought it sounded lovely and set about recreating a version in the garden.

This is the darkest hellebore I have so far*, lit up in this picture by a low and lovely evening sun. I planted a couple of pots of purchased snowdrops in front of them. If I now expand the snowdrops to a carpet and add more dark hellebores, I think it will look really beautiful although I notice the pheasants are munching the snowdrop flowers! What do you think? Any other spring plant associations you like or have?

*The day after I wrote this I found the first buds on a plant that promises to be lusciously darker.

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7 thoughts on “plant associations

  1. Ptolemy, our Head Pheasant, nips the flowers off the hellebores as well. I suppose I wouldn’t mind (as much..) if they formed part of his staple diet. But he doesn’t eat them at all, just leaves them intact on the ground.

    At Rosemoor they used snowdrops with lighter coloured hellebores, but I agree with you, they are much more striking against the darker ones.

  2. Hmmm, handsome but destructive birds. I am wondering how my pheasant will deal with the 3 adolescent hens due to arrive at ours in a couple of weeks…..and how they will deal with my flowers.
    Glad you like the snowdrop/hellebore combo.

    1. A very warm welcome Larry and thank you for the kind words. I have just had a quick peek at your blog and will be returning to read at my leisure-it looks stunning. Can’t wait to share hellebore stories with you.

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